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Monday, November 26, 2018

Thibs’ Hall of Fame Tracker

Primate Thibs’ indispensable Hall of Fame tool is back for another year.

SoSH U at work Posted: November 26, 2018 at 03:02 PM | 1365 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: hall of fame, son of gizmo

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   101. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 03:58 PM (#5791941)
The thing that always bothers me in these HoF conversations is the way that narrative is treated as such an objectionable concept.

Baseball is an entertainment product. If some guy at the bar consumes baseball by thinking that the seeing eye groundball single that drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the ninth was a clutch hit because that guy is a clutch hitter and our closer always chokes at the wrong time and the manager should have known that that hitter is 6-13 against our closer lifetime and found a better matchup, then that's his god given right. Baseball is FOR that guy as much as it is FOR me. Even though his logic about what's happening on the field is objectively wrong, I would argue that saying that there is something fundamentally bad about him enjoying baseball this way is ALSO objectively wrong.

Narrative and measurable value have an enormous amount of overlap. But just because one is scientific and one isn't doesn't make the scientific way a more correct or moral way to consume the sport. Given this premise, it's straightforward that the HoF is going to largely be the Hall of Narrative and that's ok!

To my mind, Ortiz is more easily a Hall of Famer than Edgar. Edgar was the better player, but Ortiz was a very good player and probably has the single highest 'narrative point total' of any player in my lifetime (maybe Jeter is higher). He created an immense amount of baseball enjoyment for an immense number of people. Far more so than Edgar. Regardless of how you want to talk about whether the HoF is meant to confer or recognize fame or whatever premises you want to make, you'd be hard pressed to articulate any reasonable version of anything calling itself a 'Hall of Fame' without taking the above into account.
   102. Blastin Posted: November 28, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5791950)
I think Rivera's postseason records are on Ortiz's narrative level.

Edgar was better, but you know? They're all going in and that's good to me. :)

Narrative annoys me because it's not analysis BUT stories are valuable, so I get it. I consider it a tie-breaker if someone is on the line, but I think he's far enough over it. I was prepared to roll my eyes at his candidacy if he had retired in like 2014 or so, when he had narrative but not a ton of stats, but, you know what? He kept going enough that I don't mind any of it.

Mostly I am happy they'll all go in.

(Yes, snapper, I know, RPs aren't HOFers to you. Rivera is my favorite player of all time, so I might actually go see it next summer.)
   103. Rally Posted: November 28, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5791951)
I'm sort of OK with the idea if "creating enjoyment" is something intrinsic to the player. Kirby Puckett was a fun guy to watch play. Chet Lemon has 4.5 more WAR than Kirby in virtually the same number of career PA. Kirby's in, Chet is not. OK with that.

But saying Ortiz created more enjoyment than Edgar just comes down to playing in a bigger market. If I could have the second coming of either guy come back to play for my favorite team, I'd rather watch Edgar.
   104. Blastin Posted: November 28, 2018 at 04:27 PM (#5791953)
Kirby Puckett was a fun guy to watch play.


Not a fun guy to actually know though....

Imagine if we knew all that at the time.

(Not saying we should kick him out for being a mean little creep, just that I bet his career is derailed while it's happening instead of cut short by a preventable illness - I have the same one! - but yeah, creepy dude.)
   105. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 28, 2018 at 04:35 PM (#5791955)
The thing is that we've got a list of qualifications to take into account when considering the hall of fame - they're mailed to voters each year. (Unfortunately there's no guidance on how they're to be weighted or measured.) And fame doesn't appear on the list.
   106. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 28, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5791964)
Baseball is an entertainment product. If some guy at the bar consumes baseball by thinking that the seeing eye groundball single that drove in the winning runs in the bottom of the ninth was a clutch hit because that guy is a clutch hitter and our closer always chokes at the wrong time and the manager should have known that that hitter is 6-13 against our closer lifetime and found a better matchup, then that's his god given right. Baseball is FOR that guy as much as it is FOR me. Even though his logic about what's happening on the field is objectively wrong, I would argue that saying that there is something fundamentally bad about him enjoying baseball this way is ALSO objectively wrong.
I dunno, the whole "Everybody gets to believe whatever narrative they want, regardless of facts or rationality" thing doesn't seem to be working out so great for us these days.
   107. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 04:52 PM (#5791967)
Rivera's another one near the top, good point. I was thinking about it a bit and I think narrative is probably adding the equivalent of 20, maybe 30 career WAR to some guys. Much more than a tie-breaker. Jeter is treated as something like a 100 war guy, maybe more.

re: Rally
It's not just bigger market but so much more. Ortiz had so many more memorable moments, mostly in the playoffs. This is indisputable. Is this a function of random opportunity and somewhat random results? Yes! Is a lot of it self-reinforcing and irrational? Yes!!! Is it unfair to Edgar in some cosmic way that he didn't have the chances that Ortiz did? Sure! But that doesn't really matter. These things happened, and they were big deals, and baseball fans enjoyed them (or hated them) and remember them.

Saying you don't like this and it sours you is fine. That's like, your opinion man, and you're entitled to it. But what I see in stats circles is a lot more than that. It's a denial that it even exists, or the belief that because something doesn't matter to me it shouldn't matter to anyone, the latter of which I find to be one of the worst traits in people.
   108. JL72 Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:04 PM (#5791973)
I'm sort of OK with the idea if "creating enjoyment" is something intrinsic to the player. Kirby Puckett was a fun guy to watch play. Chet Lemon has 4.5 more WAR than Kirby in virtually the same number of career PA. Kirby's in, Chet is not. OK with that.


But I actually found Chet to be more fun to watch than Kirby (as I am a Tigers fan). But that leaves a player I like on the outside because of how the media portrayed him. That seems pretty arbitrary when determining who we think the best players are.

Not a fun guy to actually know though....

Imagine if we knew all that at the time.

(Not saying we should kick him out for being a mean little creep, just that I bet his career is derailed while it's happening instead of cut short by a preventable illness - I have the same one! - but yeah, creepy dude.)


I would imagine many would reevaluate their position on whether he was a fun guy to watch, as well.
   109. Baldrick Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5791975)
re: Rally
It's not just bigger market but so much more. Ortiz had so many more memorable moments, mostly in the playoffs.

Memorable =/ enjoyment was his point, I think.
   110. JL72 Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:11 PM (#5791978)
#101 - My issue with this analysis is that it conflates two very different concepts. How a fan decides to consume baseball is very different than how we try to identify the best players who ever played the game.

Relying on who entertained us most to identify the best runs the risk of Bucky "F-ing" Dent, Fernando Valenzuela and Mark Fidrych in the Hall of Fame. I don't see that as a good result.
   111. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:20 PM (#5791981)
Even before then, there was a lot of good will toward him. He was lauded not just as a good hitter, but as a clutch hitter, with some pivotal home runs to show the way. He was viewed as a larger than life ambassador for the game, and even got away with an F Bomb for his "This is our F-in' City" line following the Boston Marathon Bombing.

It is also the fact that, long after testing was initiated, he continued to mash. Hell, in his last season, he led the league in slugging and OPS, and had his highest WAR (5.2) since 2007.

The steroids stink may affect a very few voters, but Papi's going in pretty easily.


Agreed. Papi was beloved and had a great presence about him which helped overcome the fact that he sucked ass in half of his post seasons to get a reputation as a great post season performer. (arod, a noted choker and a surly dude, in the post season has 4 post seasons with over a 1.200 ops out of 19 series...Ortiz has 4 out of 18---note that was a very cherry picked stat just for fun)


The roid stink following Ortiz is more or less non-existent, it's going to hurt him with a few I think, but for the most part, the absolute worse case scenario for Ortiz is a second ballot...he's going in pretty easily regardless of his worthiness. And even though I'm probably one of the most vocal critics against his campaign, I think he has a better case than Rice, Morris, or Sutter and I think he has a legit argument in the same vein as Lou Brock or Dizzy Dean (two Cardinals who I think don't really belong in the hof...at least not Dean.... Brock I equivocate all the time on. Ultimately I accept my Cardinal bias as being built into my bones and think there is an argument for him...but that is pure fanboyish of me, and it's a flaw I accept in me.)

   112. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5791982)
I dunno, the whole "Everybody gets to believe whatever they want, regardless of facts or rationality" mentality doesn't seem to be working out so great for our society these days.


I understand the point, but I would counter in a few ways. As I said in my last post, what I see in stats circles is a remarkable lack of empathy, sympathy, or both, for people who either don't possess the capability or just don't care to engage with sports on a scientific level. Do we need more science in politics, economics, and social policy, absolutely. Do we NEED more science in sports? I'm not sure we do. I think we'd all agree that more sympathy would be welcome in all areas of life.

I have an old friend, a very smart software engineer and a moderate sports fan. We've had countless hours long discussions on politics, psychology and philosophy (This is what my friends group did in high school and college instead of drinking or getting laid), and he's exceedingly rational. But he believes in clutch players and choking. He's not a huge baseball fan but he'd probably instantly identify Ortiz as a hall of famer and Edgar as 'oh yeah I remember he was a real good hitter'. I've engaged with him on occasion about sports stats, but I realized he didn't seem to care that much. I can almost viscerally feel the fact that he'd rather watch a playoff game in the narrative space. The team who won, won because they deserved to. Because they came through when it counted. The losers choked. If I come from on high and say "well ACTUALLY, this was just a small sample-size crapshoot and doesn't prove anything", then I'm a jerk who is ruining the fun. He spends all week trying to shave a fraction of a second off of response time on your GPS so if he wants to crack open a beer and turn off his critical thinking for a couple hours then I'm not going to stop him.
   113. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:24 PM (#5791985)
Hall of FAME. FAME. Famous. Guys who are famous for playing baseball. Narrative matters. Less than other things, maybe, but absolutely should be part of the criteria.


This is said every time someone says this. (and I haven't read this thread past the post I'm quoting, so it's possible someone has replied to this already)

The Hall of Fame is about conferring fame on a player, not about recognizing their existing fame.
   114. Greg K Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:27 PM (#5791987)
I have an old friend, a very smart software engineer and a moderate sports fan. We've had countless hours long discussions on politics, psychology and philosophy (This is what my friends group did in high school and college instead of drinking or getting laid)

You say that like those are mutually exclusive!

Well, I guess getting laid might be for all I know, but many of my high school and college politics and philosophy discussions involved drugs/alcohol of some kind.

In a similar vein, I think it's possible to do both in the other side of your analogy as well (ie. take a rational attitude towards sports while still showing empathy for others who don't). Which to fair, is probably just a slightly different way of saying what you've already said.
   115. JL72 Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:31 PM (#5791988)
As I said in my last post, what I see in stats circles is a remarkable lack of empathy, sympathy, or both, for people who either don't possess the capability or just don't care to engage with sports on a scientific level. Do we need more science in politics, economics, and social policy, absolutely. Do we NEED more science in sports? I'm not sure we do. I think we'd all agree that more sympathy would be welcome in all areas of life.


Sadly, much of that came from the non-stats people bashing those who wanted to enjoy sports with science and stats. Let's face it, calling them nerds and geeks who never played and need to leave their mother's basement and go see a game is not actually dripping with empathy and sympathy.

That does not excuse the harsh words by those who like stats as their position has gained traction. But your putting all the blame at the feet of the stats crowd misses that history.
   116. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5791991)
Relying on who entertained us most to identify the best runs the risk of Bucky "F-ing" Dent, Fernando Valenzuela and Mark Fidrych in the Hall of Fame. I don't see that as a good result.


But these guys aren't in the Hall of Fame, which is a solid indicator that things are working pretty well in this regard.
The Hall of Fame is neither the Hall of most objectively valuable players, NOR is it the Hall of most interesting/famous/entertaining players, it's somewhere in between.

how we try to identify the best players who ever played the game.


I would object that this is exactly the best goal for the Hall of Fame to have. It is certainly not the one we have, and it's not the one that I think a majority of baseball fans want.

Memorable =/ enjoyment was his point, I think.


I think you might get into a semantic argument here. In the context of sports I'm remembering something because it was some combination of exceptional, interesting, entertaining, wonderful, sad, or hateful. It's essentially tautological that whatever I'm remembering most contained whatever the essence is of why I'm watching the sport in the first place. It's undeniable that for the majority of the people who watch baseball, Ortiz participated in more memorable moments than Edgar.
   117. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:37 PM (#5791992)
Ortiz will be remembered for generations by Red Sox fans for his post-season heroics, and forgotten by pretty much everyone else. That's probably how it should be. A few clutch hits don't matter that much except to the fans with a direct interest.


You are a Red Sox fan.... I'm a Cardinal fan... have you forgotten Lou Brock? (I'm assuming the answer is no) do you think that your recognition of Lou Brock might have faded if he wasn't in the hof? I think that without the hof recognition, a guy like Brock or Ortiz do fade away among casual fans outside of their fanbase, but that with the recognition it keeps them famous. It doesn't help all players of course, but I think it really does help the "narrative" players more...it's not going to make a dent on Babe Ruth, Cobb, Mays, Williams or Musial's reputation... and it barely makes a dent on the bad choices...except to see them brought up year after year as bad choices.... so it helps in that way, but I don't think that is a good thing.. But guys like Dean, Brock, Rice, Dawson and eventually Ortiz... it's going to help them stay famous outside of their fanbase.
   118. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:44 PM (#5791995)
You say that like those are mutually exclusive!

Well, I guess getting laid might be for all I know, but many of my high school and college politics and philosophy discussions involved drugs/alcohol of some kind.

In a similar vein, I think it's possible to do both in the other side of your analogy as well (ie. take a rational attitude towards sports while still showing empathy for others who don't). Which to fair, is probably just a slightly different way of saying what you've already said.


Haha, well we were squares through and through. Drinking was what the cool kids did. As to the last point, yes that's what I'm getting at.

Sadly, much of that came from the non-stats people bashing those who wanted to enjoy sports with science and stats.


Very true, I acknowledge. But at some point someone has to 'be the bigger man'. We won the WAR. Shouldn't it be us who bridge the gap? You see this all the time... battles are fought and won, and then there should be peace, but who is in charge? The warriors who led the fight, and all they know is how to attack. So there can't be peace.

If Chass or whoever writes a "mom's basement" screed? Sure, mock him. But if someone wants to go on TV and talk about RBIs and wins to people who are interested in hearing what they have to say? How about we let that one go?

   119. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:45 PM (#5791997)
Is it really that hard to believe that Ortiz wont be a household name in say 50 years? Really? You find that hard to believe?


Depending on your household I guess. Again I'll pull Lou Brock out... I think Snapper was trying to be diplomatic about it and it was a good point, but I think he is underselling the already established fame aspect of someone like Ortiz, combined with his eventual hof election.

He won't be a Cobb or Bonds level of remembrance, but even without the hr record, he'll have a national legacy on par with McGwire and ahead of Sosa in the coming generations...
   120. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:46 PM (#5791998)
I'm not opposed to borderline guys getting in based on narrative, but it's just not how the voters vote -- at least not with any consistency. I mean, Orel Hershiser -- a borderline candidate on the merits, who owns the consecutive scoreless innings record, a stellar postseason record with two LCS MVPs and a WS MVP -- got almost no support from the BBWAA or on the 2017 Today's Game ballot. We'll see how he does on the 2019 ballot.
   121. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:48 PM (#5791999)
The Hall is intended to confer fame, not recognize. The pointlessness of an honor that intends to recognize fame should be obvious on its face. (That the voters would often use it to recognize fame is equally obvious.)


I knew someone had beaten me to the punch, but I didn't want to read the entire thread before posting....
   122. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 05:59 PM (#5792001)
The Hall is intended to confer fame, not recognize. The pointlessness of an honor that intends to recognize fame should be obvious on its face. (That the voters would often use it to recognize fame is equally obvious.)


I've always thought this argument was absolutely terrible. It certainly isn't obvious to me.
Baseball is entertainment and the Hall of Fame is a museum. What is a museum for? A record of the history of the great players that provided the most entertainment seems like a perfectly good raison d'etre for a museum.
   123. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:03 PM (#5792003)
(Yes, snapper, I know, RPs aren't HOFers to you. Rivera is my favorite player of all time, so I might actually go see it next summer.)


Here is how I justify a relief pitcher vote.... the simple fact is that the hof has put in multiple relief pitchers, so the hof acknowledges that relief pitching is a separate position from 'pitcher' at that point in time, for me to justify a player into the hof, he'll have to exceed the performance of the top half of players at that position...to me that seems like a fairly reasonable standard for the hof for potentially a guy you may not personally approve.

There are 6 relief pitchers in the hof (Wilhelm, Gossage, Fingers, Eckersley, Sutter, and Hoffman) Now that means that if a relief pitcher is going up for the hof, he should be reasonably argued as one of the three best relievers of all time(not one of the three best in the hof, but one of the three best of all time) For Rivera I think it's safe to say he is probably one of the three best relievers of all time, so I can see giving him a vote.

You can do the same thing with DH, although we really only have one DH in the hof, and even that is a stretch with Frank Thomas... Molitor is arguably another one... and if you really work it, you can add Thome.... still not really much to go on. But even using that small group, in order to put another DH in, they would have to be one of the two best dh's of all time... Frank Thomas clearly wins the first prize for that honor...if you are making him a DH, Molitor is iffy because of his significant time not at DH, so it's hard to argue for him as the second greatest dh of all time, but in reality only Edgar and Ortiz are the other options for that role. But still... even though he has only 1100 games as a DH, Thome was clearly better than either of them.... so I'll call Thome the Second greatest dh ever.... with Edgar, Ortiz and Molitor vying for the third spot... which is a not elect me spot.

   124. cardsfanboy Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:13 PM (#5792004)
I've always thought this argument was absolutely terrible. It certainly isn't obvious to me.
Baseball is entertainment and the Hall of Fame is a museum. What is a museum for? A record of the history of the great players that provided the most entertainment seems like a perfectly good raison d'etre for a museum.


Except that it is the truth. The MLB hall of fame was modeled after the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, which was designed to honor "renown" and not the current definition of fame which is "celebrity".... Just because the definition of the word fame has moved, doesn't mean the concept of the institution has moved, nor should it.
   125. Booey Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:18 PM (#5792006)
Relying on who entertained us most to identify the best runs the risk of Bucky "F-ing" Dent, Fernando Valenzuela and Mark Fidrych in the Hall of Fame. I don't see that as a good result.


But this is once again ignoring the "for guys on the borderline" caveat that is always included with any discussion about narrative. No one here that I've seen - and very few elsewhere - think that narrative is ALL that should matter or that elections shouldn't be based MOSTLY on statistical value/merit.

I'm not opposed to borderline guys getting in based on narrative, but it's just not how the voters vote -- at least not with any consistency. I mean, Orel Hershiser -- a borderline candidate on the merits, who owns the consecutive scoreless innings record, a stellar postseason record with two LCS MVPs and a WS MVP -- got almost no support from the BBWAA or on the 2017 Today's Game ballot. We'll see how he does on the 2019 ballot.


Eh, I think the non-SABR types just don't see Hershiser as being that close to the borderline. I think he's viewed as just a pretty good pitcher with a few great years. And honestly, I can't say that I even blame them. His career numbers don't look particular HOF-ey. Without WAR at my disposal, it wouldn't have really crossed my mind that he deserved a more serious look, either (and even then you have to include his batting to even get him up to borderline; he's not there on pitching alone).
   126. PreservedFish Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:28 PM (#5792009)
The Hall is intended to confer fame, not recognize.


Frequently asserted, never sourced.


The MLB hall of fame was modeled after the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, which was designed to honor "renown" and not the current definition of fame which is "celebrity".... Just because the definition of the word fame has moved, doesn't mean the concept of the institution has moved, nor should it.


Wow, you can read wikipedia! Cool! Did you bother to take the next step and look up the word "renown?" Care to employ your renowned hermeneutical talents and explain the difference to us?

The Hall of Fame for Great Americans in its inaugural class elected such obscure nobodies as Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. You'd have to be some kind of a rube to believe that such an institution had the hubris to claim that it was "conferring" fame on these men, but then again, you're already on record as thinking that Cooperstown thought that it was conferring fame on Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, and Babe Ruth.
   127. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:29 PM (#5792010)
Except that it is the truth. The MLB hall of fame was modeled after the Hall of Fame for Great Americans, which was designed to honor "renown" and not the current definition of fame which is "celebrity"


I disagree with your sentiment on multiple angles.

1) I was initially unclear on the distinction between renown and fame. But I went to google, and the first definition of renown I found is "Fame; celebrity; wide recognition." So I'm still unclear.

2) IF you could produce some source that indicates that the baseball HoF was founded on the principle that it should be conferring fame to those who deserve it by some manner of judgment but avoid including those who had achieved current fame but didn't necessarily deserve it by that same manner of judgment, I still would argue that what it has morphed to 'in practice' is a perfectly reasonable and acceptable version of a Hall of Fame museum. But I doubt such a source exists, because I don't believe that anyone who would find themselves in the business of creating a Hall of Fame for a sport would ever think that that distinction was worthwhile to make, and one that would add value to their enterprise.

Rather I think this claim is being made after the fact by people who WANT the HoF to be this way, because it would represent the HoF that they personally would enjoy more.
   128. Morty Causa Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:30 PM (#5792011)
The rules for election to the HOF say nothing about conferring or recognizing fame. They do set the voting standards as:

Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.


Considering marginally qualified candidates does not negate those standards. Moreover, wherever the borders for qualifications are, there will be marginal candidates. They nevertheless should be excellent players.
   129. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: November 28, 2018 at 06:39 PM (#5792014)
Eh, I think the non-SABR types just don't see Hershiser as being that close to the borderline. I think he's viewed as just a pretty good pitcher with a few great years. And honestly, I can't say that I even blame them. His career numbers don't look particular HOF-ey. Without WAR at my disposal, it wouldn't have really crossed my mind that he deserved a more serious look, either (and even then you have to include his batting to even get him up to borderline; he's not there on pitching alone).

You're probably right that they under-rate Hershiser (well, they appropriately rate him) -- although I think he was certainly viewed as a potential HOFer in his 20s, and just fell off too quickly in his 30s, like a number of guys in 1980s.

And I'm not saying he should have gotten elected, but it just doesn't seem like he got any meaningful additional support for his narrative. I mean, I guess he lasted on the ballot for one more year than David Cone, and Cone had the slightly better career (he's in the HOM), so maybe he got some credit for his narrative.
   130. PreservedFish Posted: November 28, 2018 at 07:02 PM (#5792025)
The difference between "renown" and the modern understanding of "fame" is that renown is earned - it is deserved. Paris Hilton is famous, but now renowned (except perhaps in some unflattering ways). In other words, the distinction that cfb uncritically hangs his hat on is irrelevant for our purposes.
   131. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 07:08 PM (#5792026)
Morty thanks for bringing that in, I'd forgotten about that sentence and I think it could be used to argue against me. It's at least a stronger counter-argument than the "confer fame" thing.

The narrative moments that clearly are in practice being used would have to be justified under the "player's record" or "contributions to the team", which both seem like reasonable claims to make, though not slam-dunks.
   132. BillWallace Posted: November 28, 2018 at 08:58 PM (#5792056)
I did about 20 minutes of googling to try to find anyone making this distinction between fame and renown with no luck before I finally found a source. "The Imperial Encyclopaedic Dictionary: A New And Exhaustive Work Of Reference To The English Language" published in 1901 by Robert Hunter.

"Crabb thus discriminates between fame, reputation, and renown: "Fame... is the most noisy and uncertain: it rests upon the report: reputation is silent and solid: it lies more in the thoughts, and is derived from observation. Renown... signifies the reverberation of a name: it is as loud as fame, but more substantial and better founded"" and later "renown is employed only for extraordinary men and brilliant exploits"

I'll give you this one PF!

Crabb appears to be George Crabb, an English grammarian, barrister, and mathematician born in 1778 and known for being a shy recluse. I'm now quite curious to hear Mr Crabb's thoughts on Ms. Hilton's exploits.
   133. Lassus Posted: November 28, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5792076)
The Hall is intended to confer fame, not recognize.
The Hall of Fame is about conferring fame on a player, not about recognizing their existing fame.


I'll go one past PF and flat out say that IF this was ever the purpose of the HOF, it is not, in any way, how it is now thought of by most anyone who thinks about the HOF. You guys can insist this is the case all you want, but it's not what's happening.

Errrrr maybe a coke to Mike Wallace. BILL! Bill Wallace.
   134. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: November 29, 2018 at 12:17 AM (#5792088)
The folks who want to include what we call "narrative" in HOF qualifications don't, usually, think that they support including narrative in a HOF case. They think that they're identifying the greatest players, the problem is just that they're doing it badly.
   135. Adam Starblind Posted: November 29, 2018 at 07:12 AM (#5792100)

Another re-writing of the Hall criteria.

YES it is called the Hall of Fame.

NO it should not be filled by who was the most famous.

It should be base on results. (And neither Sosa or McGuire deserve enshrinement.)


Welp, I'm convinced.

The Hall is intended to confer fame, not recognize.


The Babe, the Splendid Splinter, and the Mick owe it all to Cooperstown. Some day god willing people will find out about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.
   136. Adam Starblind Posted: November 29, 2018 at 07:18 AM (#5792101)
WORLD Series. WORLD. Teams who beat the best teams in the World. Geography matters. Less than other things, maybe, but absolutely should be part of the criteria.

Congratulations to Honolulu, Hawaii the 2018 World Series champions. For the 4th time in the 21st century the Red Sox refused to validate their title and again remain the MLB Champion. For the 3rd time in the 21st century Oregon State refused to validate their title and remain the American College Champion.


We now have players in MLB from South Africa, China, Japan, Korea, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Australia, all over South America, and numerous other places. The reason is that MLB is the best baseball league(s) in the world and nobody else comes close, so the best players want to play in MLB. Point being, "World" Series is not as silly as it once was.

   137. PreservedFish Posted: November 29, 2018 at 07:56 AM (#5792104)
It's ####### annoying that every time we have the debate, people say "THE HALL CONFERS FAME," asserted as if it were some final clinching blow, and I've literally never seen a source for it.
   138. PreservedFish Posted: November 29, 2018 at 08:03 AM (#5792105)
I just looked through the NY Times archive. Here's the very first mention of the Baseball Hall of Fame:


A Big Ten, consisting of a galaxy of major league stars ... will form the foundation for an official baseball hall of fame...

It will be determined later whether the tribute to the most famous players will take the form of plaques, photographs or statues...

Selection of the first ten all-stars promises to develop brisk argument. Legendary are many of the feats of the game's earlier heroes...


I'd quote the whole thing if I didn't have to type it all out - there's also stuff in there about playing quality, of course, and I'm not trying to argue that the Hall is or ever was a pure popularity contest. But again, I tell you: the idea that the hall was conferring fame on Ruth and Cobb and Johnson is so absurd as to be insulting.

The idea that voters were simply tabulating value - this decades before reliable career numbers were even much available - is totally laughable.
   139. PreservedFish Posted: November 29, 2018 at 08:15 AM (#5792107)
Second such article, December 1935:

IMMORTALS IN GAME WILL BE NAMED FOR HALL OF FAME IN COOPERSTOWN, NY

Such unforgettable names as Ty Cobb, Christy Matthewson ... and Babe Ruth promise to supply the fuel for sports arguments once more as the gigantic task to select the immortals for baseball's Hall of Fame gets under way.

Thirty-three of the games brightest stars, who blazed over the diamonds, were named as candidates...


Cobb etc already recognized as "immortals" and yet the argument is that the Hall will confer fame. It's a laugher.
   140. Rusty Priske Posted: November 29, 2018 at 10:05 AM (#5792131)
Catching up...

Yeah, I misspelled McGwire. I never liked him anyway...

The Dylan conversation made me remember a particular incident that is relevant.

When Dylan won the big prize I remember thinking, "Okay. He wrote a lot of great stuff. He deserves recognition."

Then I saw a newspaper headline that said "Dylan is named Greatest Living Poet"


Uh, what? No he wasn't. And isn't. Not even close.

The problem is people misunderstanding what an honour like that means. By recognizing someone you are NOT saying that he is the MOST worthy of an honour - just that he is the person chosen right now, today.

(And if they wanted to honour a songwriter for their poetry, they should have named Leonard Cohen. They missed their chance.)
   141. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 29, 2018 at 10:24 AM (#5792137)
Here is how I justify a relief pitcher vote.... the simple fact is that the hof has put in multiple relief pitchers, so the hof acknowledges that relief pitching is a separate position from 'pitcher' at that point in time, for me to justify a player into the hof, he'll have to exceed the performance of the top half of players at that position...to me that seems like a fairly reasonable standard for the hof for potentially a guy you may not personally approve.


This is exactly how I feel. Would I vote for Billy Wagner to be in the Hall of Fame, if I were tasked with populating the Hall from scratch? No. But in a world where the voters have decided Trevor Hoffman is worthy of enshrinement? Of course, since he is, you know, better than Hoffman.

As far as the debate on conferring or recognizing fame...I agree with PF, to an extent. For the absolute inner-circle HOFers, the HOF isn't needed for people to recognize their greatness. But the chronically under-appreciated guys like Tim Raines, Lou Whitaker, or Scott Rolen? I would argue that induction does have the ability to change how those players are seen by the more casual fan.
   142. villageidiom Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5792148)
Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played. If this criteria for voting requires a player to be superior in each of these qualities, to every player outside the HOF, in order to be enshrined then there would be literally nobody in the HOF. Thus, for the HOF to have anyone, they will enshrine some who are worse in one aspect but better in others than someone they won't enshrine.

Trevor Hoffman was a better candidate for enshrinement than Billy Wagner.

I'm not going to try to justify that last statement to you, because for you it's going to boil down to "Wagner was better according to some criteria I care about, and worse in things I don't care about," and making you care about compulsory criteria isn't how I choose to spend my time. At least I won't when it comes to comparing a couple of players who were the pitching equivalent of exceptional pinch-hitters.
   143. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:04 AM (#5792150)
I'd quote the whole thing if I didn't have to type it all out
<wags finger> Articles from 1935 are still under copyright... ;)
   144. bbmck Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5792162)
Billy Wagner as a PH, 3600 PA, 151 OPS+
Hank Aaron 1954-1959, 3866 PA, 151 OPS+

Not many teams would put Aaron on the bench for the first 6 years of his career.

   145. jmurph Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:44 AM (#5792172)
Papi was beloved and had a great presence about him which helped overcome the fact that he sucked ass in half of his post seasons to get a reputation as a great post season performer.

His reputation as a great post season performer may also, in part, stem from the fact that he was a great post season performer. Just a thought.

   146. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:57 AM (#5792179)
Because for you it's going to boil down to "Wagner was better according to some criteria I care about, and worse in things I don't care about,


As opposed to all of the HOF decisions that aren't made by weighing various criteria?

I mean, I genuinely don't understand this criticism. Someone voting for say, Roy Halladay but not Mike Mussina is probably weighing Halladay's Cy Youngs and peak more, and giving less weight to Mussina's better career counting totals. Someone voting Mussina over Halladay is probably doing the opposite
   147. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: November 29, 2018 at 12:03 PM (#5792185)
Papi was beloved and had a great presence about him which helped overcome the fact that he sucked ass in half of his post seasons to get a reputation as a great post season performer.

His reputation as a great post season performer may also, in part, stem from the fact that he was a great post season performer. Just a thought.


You know who else sucked ass in half his post seasons? Reggie Jackson. I suppose he also is not a great post-season performer? 11 ALCS - .227/.298/.380
   148. Al "Battery" Kaline Posted: November 29, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5792193)
Worried about Halladay. I see one voter who had one slot open...and voted for Pettttitttte, but not Doc. Hope it's not an early canary in a coal mine.
   149. Ithaca2323 Posted: November 29, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5792204)
Worried about Halladay. I see one voter who had one slot open...and voted for Pettttitttte, but not Doc. Hope it's not an early canary in a coal mine.


He's been on 5 of 7 ballots. One of the two he wasn't on was from Steven Marcus, who is an extreme Small Hall voter (2, 4, 2, 2 names the last four years).

I think Halladay is going to get in, probably in the low 80s
   150. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: November 29, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5792224)
For the absolute inner-circle HOFers, the HOF isn't needed for people to recognize their greatness. But the chronically under-appreciated guys like Tim Raines, Lou Whitaker, or Scott Rolen? I would argue that induction does have the ability to change how those players are seen by the more casual fan.


This is basically my take, although I'd actually go a little further: The inclusion of the inner circle HOFers confers legitimacy on the Hall of Fame. Babe Ruth's career needs no validation, and exclusion from the Hall of Fame would detract from the legitimacy of the Hall of Fame more than it would detract from Ruth's legacy. If you had a well established Hall of Fame that excluded Ruth, you'd wonder why it bothered to exist, when it was so clearly poor at honoring that which it purports to honor. For me, Clemens and Bonds are in this category as well. It's a stain on the legitimacy of the Hall that both have been excluded so far, while lesser players have been inducted. Particularly given that I have zero confidence that there are no users of steroids in the Hall today.

For the marginal Hall of Famer, induction into the Hall is indeed a validation of his career.
   151. SandyRiver Posted: November 29, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5792230)
From #112:
Agreed. Papi was beloved and had a great presence about him which helped overcome the fact that he sucked ass in half of his post seasons to get a reputation as a great post season performer. (arod, a noted choker and a surly dude, in the post season has 4 post seasons with over a 1.200 ops out of 19 series...Ortiz has 4 out of 18---note that was a very cherry picked stat just for fun)

"Very" indeed, as Ortiz also had one at 1.199. More 'Very C-P-ing": ARod also had 4 with OPS over 1.000, Papi had 7. Pick .900 as the threshold and it's 5/19 (26%) vs 10/18 (56%). Ortiz' PS OPS was just .015 higher than for his career, though that's not terrible considering that the teams reaching the PS tend to have better than average pitching. (ARod's PS OPS was .108 under his regular season mark. Just sayin'.)

Given the hundreds of HOF voters, there's bound to be some real head-scratcher ballots and a wide diversity in opinion about what merits election. My biggest gripe is probably the extreme small-hall voters who leave most (occasionally all) of the ballot blank.
   152. Rally Posted: November 29, 2018 at 01:57 PM (#5792237)
One thing worth asking is if the DH position penalty is unfair to Ortiz. Let's pretend McCovey and Cepeda came up today for an American league team, and pretend for sake of argument that both were exactly league average at first base. One of them plays first and gets a -10 position adjustment, the other a -15. But since we know both are average, it doesn't really matter to the team which one plays first. But the one who DH's will be rated half a win lower per year.

In Ortiz's case, he did play 200+ games at first, so we have a reasonable idea of how good he was there. -5 runs per year by TZ, and -6 by DRS. If we make the assumption that is how he would have played as a career long first baseman, that he would have been equally able to stay in the lineup, and would have hit the same (neither a sure thing), then playing DH did not hurt or help his career WAR at all. This is not always the case, but it looks like the DH position and how WAR treats it was perfectly fair to Ortiz.

Clemens and Bonds should start their own exclusive museum. It's unfortunate that Cooperstown won't take them, but fact is that nobody inducted into the Cooperstown HOF is good enough by the Clemens/Bonds standards assuming even a tiny bit of timelining and consideration that pre-1947 players didn't even face all the best talent available in a smaller USA.
   153. DanG Posted: November 29, 2018 at 02:02 PM (#5792238)
Definition of Hall Of Fame by Merriam-Webster:

2 : a group of individuals in a particular category (such as a sport) who have been selected as particularly illustrious.

The baseball hall of fame was originally intended to honor greatness. Period. (The line about character, etc was added later.) To avoid the pitfalls of a rigid definition, it was left up to the baseball writers to determine what the standard of greatness was that defined a hall of famer. And they were doing a decent job, until they weren’t allowed to vote in 1940, 1941, 1943, and 1944. The resulting logjam led to writers electing nobody in 1945 and 1946, despite tons of deserving candidates.

The Old-Timers Committee was tasked with fixing the growing “errors of omission”. They did this by creating an entirely new and much lower standard of greatness than had been established by the writers. A few years later (1967-76), the Cronies Committee relied on this lower standard to populate the Hall with their old friends.

Well, I can’t be too hard on the VC from 40-50 years ago. The tools they had available to measure greatness were crude by today’s standards; given that, it’s hardly surprising they made many inadequate selections. Plus, with the Character Clause in play, they also used that to justify electing the upstanding men of their day, whose like is seldom seen today. IOW, narrative.

The Hall of Fame is not the Hall of the Famous. It’s the Hall of Greatness, a Hall of Merit, meant to include only those players that are “particularly illustrious”.
   154. QLE Posted: November 29, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5792240)
To avoid the pitfalls of a rigid definition, it was left up to the baseball writers to determine what the standard of greatness was that defined a hall of famer. And they were doing a decent job, until they weren’t allowed to vote in 1940, 1941, 1943, and 1944. The resulting logjam led to writers electing nobody in 1945 and 1946, despite tons of deserving candidates.


For that matter, I'd argue that, once they broke the logjam again in 1947, that the BBWAA did a respectable job (once we consider that this was an era where reliable full career statistics weren't readily available, that they had a brief much bigger than the BBWAA later had, and that aspects to the current voting that push voters towards consensus didn't exist) until the Hall management started messing with them again after the 1956 ballot- for all the abuse we like to give the BBWAA, I'm inclined to believe that those that run the Hall have done far worse.
   155. PreservedFish Posted: November 29, 2018 at 02:53 PM (#5792249)
The Hall of Fame is not the Hall of the Famous. It’s the Hall of Greatness, a Hall of Merit, meant to include only those players that are “particularly illustrious”.


Illustrious means famous - close enough, at least.
   156. jmurph Posted: November 29, 2018 at 03:11 PM (#5792259)
DanG how does that post get us any closer to an agreed upon definition of greatness, merit, or illustriousness?
   157. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 29, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5792278)
Tony Massarotti ballot added: Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Edgar, Manny & Rivera.
   158. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 29, 2018 at 09:11 PM (#5792342)
Aurelio Moreno becomes the first to add Vizquel, along with votes for Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Edgar, Mussina, Rivera, & Sosa.
   159. cardsfanboy Posted: November 29, 2018 at 09:17 PM (#5792343)
His reputation as a great post season performer may also, in part, stem from the fact that he was a great post season performer. Just a thought.


In some of his 18 post season appearances, sure.. and in some of his 18 post seasons appearances he was absolutely putrid.
   160. cardsfanboy Posted: November 29, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5792348)
"Very" indeed, as Ortiz also had one at 1.199


I know, that is why I made the comment.


One thing worth asking is if the DH position penalty is unfair to Ortiz.



Yes and no... I think that the rpos penalty generally for DH is fair on a seasonal basis, but at the same time it's also a bit unfair in a way, because a poor fielding first baseman has less of an rpos penalty than a non-fielding dh... Ultimately I look at the relative few career DH's and argue that they should be considered as poor fielding first baseman or left fielders to an extent.. I think DH should be evaluated a bit more than just using war, especially when looking at the rpos of the position. Ultimately though he should produce at least as much offense as a 'widely considered non-fielding lf/1b'

For this argument of course you grab someone like Sheffield... is Ortiz actually a better hitter than Sheffield? Eddie Murray? or others that people point as borderline... if his offense isn't better than theirs, then how can you really argue for him over them when they did play the field and had to deal with a larger range of day to day injury issues?
   161. The Duke Posted: November 29, 2018 at 09:52 PM (#5792353)
So what is the most likely result for the PED crowd ?

1. Election by the Baseball writers
2. Failure to be elected by writers and voted in by old-timers committees
3. Failure to be elected by writers or committees
4. Election far in the future when they are just statistics and voters don’t have much in person history with them ( like a Pete Rose)

And will things break down along lines of pre-PED rules and post-PED rules, meaning will guys like A-rod and manny be treated different from a Bonds or Clemens ?
   162. cardsfanboy Posted: November 29, 2018 at 10:23 PM (#5792371)
So what is the most likely result for the PED crowd ?


Each case will be somewhat unique and make it hard to gauge until a few get in, then there will be an onslaught.


A hof without Bonds or Clemens is a pure disgrace of course, but at the same time, the voters have put their foot in the sand so it's very unlikely they get in through the writers, and with the current veteran's committee concept, they won't get in there because of jealousy from some of the voters..... so we'll have a hof that doesn't have a couple of the best players of all time not in there.... but at the same time, the voters have already shown a relaxing standard that by the ten year eligibility of Arod, he might end up making it in.... which of course would then open the flood gates for others but for the most part it will also represent the end of the steroid era eligible players... and again I just don't see any veteran's committee set up as it is now, putting in Bonds, Clemens, Manny or others....

   163. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:36 PM (#5792417)
Chris Assenhiemer adds Mussina & Schilling, along with votes for Halladay, Edgar, Rivera & Vizquel. That's Mussina's 2nd pick-up, Mussina's 1st.
   164. ajnrules Posted: November 29, 2018 at 11:45 PM (#5792419)
That's Mussina's 2nd pick-up, Mussina's 1st.

Surely you meant Schilling’s first pick-up, since it’s impossible for the same player to do both, and Mussina already picked up one earlier
   165. Walt Davis Posted: November 30, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5792423)
Not that it matters, but Uncle Walt's unofficial ballot in alphabetical order:

Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Moose, Rolen, Schilling, Sosa (call me a Cub fanboy), Walker

Will now sail in with no major objection from me: Edgar
Will sail in with such a high vote total that my objection seems nutty: Mo
Conflicted: Manny, Sheffield
Maybe I should toss them a vote since they deserve more votes than they're gonna get: Berkman, Oswalt

On Manny, the main issue is that he was caught breaking the PEDs rule after it was a rule -- twice. For both he and Sheff, there's the issue of whether their defense could really have been that bad. I basically consider Sheff and Edgar to be equals.

From 23-30, Oswalt looks a lot like a guy on the way to the HoF -- 41 WAR, 129-64, 139 ERA+ and churning out 200-IP seasons like clockwork ... coulda used a CYA and, by WAR, barely deserved one in 2007 when naturally he didn't appear on a single ballot. I made the Berkman-Oritz comp earlier, we've also seen Berkman-Helton.

It's only 10 votes so far but it's never too early to wildly speculate. Helton is at 3 votes already. Last year, of these 10 voters, only one had voted for Rolen and only two for Walker. That's a pretty good sign for Helton. If you want to break it down, the two guys who voted Walker last year both voted for him. One of those was the guy who voted for Rolen and the other is the guy who added Rolen this year. The third vote comes from Lebron's ballot (NOT THAT ONE) which is a very odd ballot -- Clemens, Halladay, Helton, Andruw, Edgar (new), Moose (new), Pettitte, Mo, Sosa, Vizquel (dropped McGriff and Manny). So a typical no-PEDS-problem (Clemens, Sosa, formerly Manny), bandwagon-jumping (Edgar, Moose), defense-matters (Andruw, Omar) voter that dings heavily for injuries (Walker, Rolen) and hates Schilling (understandable).
   166. Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch) Posted: November 30, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5792489)
This is a brutal ballot. Taking Walt's lead, I put together my own unofficial ballot.

Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Helton, Jones, Martinez, Mussina, Rivera, Schilling, Walker.

I don't feel like I voted for anyone I don't consider qualified, but with unlimited votes, I'd also have voted for Manny, Rolen, Sheff, and Sosa.
   167. PreservedFish Posted: November 30, 2018 at 10:23 AM (#5792491)
Assenhiemer


That's unfortunate.
   168. bachslunch Posted: November 30, 2018 at 10:31 AM (#5792493)
Sure, I'll play too. My unofficial ballot, with limit of 10:

Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Helton, Andruw, Edgar, Moose, Rolen, Sheffield, Walker

With unlimited slots, add Berkman, Kent, McGriff, Manny, Rivera, Schilling, Sosa, Wagner
   169. DanG Posted: November 30, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5792558)
DanG how does that post get us any closer to an agreed upon definition of greatness, merit, or illustriousness?
I think we’re in general agreement that the Hall of Fame is aiming to honor the greatest players, the ones who provided the most value to their team’s efforts to win baseball games. The players that provide the most value are usually the most famous. Hence, the term “hall of fame” is a time honored appellation for a place established to honor those people who have been selected as the greatest.

Thus, the “fame” here follows the great playing achievement. A not-great player may achieve great fame, but that was never meant to be an important consideration in deciding who gets into the Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, some people assume fame must necessarily flow from great achievement – and vice versa, that lack of fame indicates lower achievement. As Lucy said regarding Beethoven: “He never got his picture on bubblegum cards, did he?”

In generations past, it was easier to forgive the voters if they made the mistake of equating fame with greatness; the tools they had to measure value were often poor indicators of greatness. So it was unavoidable that they elected some players who, we now know, were not among the greatest players. Knowing this history, we can understand why these poor selections were made and set them aside as precedents for future candidates.

Today, there is no excuse for voters giving massive support to candidates like Vizquel (45.6 WAR, 5.3 WAA, 26.8 WAR7) and Morris (43.9 WAR, 9.7 WAA, 32.7 WAR7) – they should know better, the information is right there. You have to perform some dubious gyrations to view players of their caliber as deserving of the Hall. Meanwhile, candidates such as Walker (72.7 WAR, 48.3 WAA, 44.6 WAR7) and Rolen (70.2 WAR, 44.1 WAA, 43.7 WAR7) continue to be ignored.
   170. BillWallace Posted: November 30, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5792580)
Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Mussina, Halladay, Rivera, Walker, Martinez, Rolen, Ramirez
   171. reech Posted: November 30, 2018 at 01:58 PM (#5792588)
my 3 cents...
Bonds, Clemens, Schilling, Rivera, Halladay, Ramirez, Mussina, Martinez
   172. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: November 30, 2018 at 02:09 PM (#5792590)
Question. So I am sure there were players elected to the baseball hof who now that there are better assessment tools people are like, yeah, not a great decision. But is there a player or maybe players who after even more measuring tools have been developed who were championed by stat community for the hof but now the consensus is, forget we said anything?
   173. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: November 30, 2018 at 02:35 PM (#5792600)
I think we’re in general agreement that the Hall of Fame is aiming to honor the greatest players, the ones who provided the most value to their team’s efforts to win baseball games. The players that provide the most value are usually the most famous.


You could say that a baseball player's job is to win games, and judge their fame/merit on that axis.

You could equally argue that the point of a baseball team is to get fans in the seats and make money, and that a player who is good at that is more valuable/famous/important than a player who hits a bit better but that nobody likes. So I don't think the 'bubblegum test' is necessarily irrelevant.

I would use a combination of both as my criteria, rather than just one or the other.
   174. ajnrules Posted: November 30, 2018 at 03:17 PM (#5792613)
Two first-time voters released their ballots today.

They both voted Bonds, Clemens, Halladay, Edgar, Mussina, Rivera, Schilling, and Walker

Enrique Rojas added Sosa and Omar

Bill Costa added Pettitte and Manny
   175. bbmck Posted: November 30, 2018 at 03:36 PM (#5792620)
Defensive information was slower to develop so taking a look at 1991 HoF Ballot, oWar is a stand in for Win Shares or VORP or whatever:

Rod Carew, 81 oWAR, 10550 PA, 328/393/429
Dick Allen, 70.2 oWAR, 7315 PA, 292/378/534
Ron Santo, 66.5 oWAR, 9397 PA, 277/362/464
Joe Torre, 59.5 oWAR, 8802 PA, 297/365/452

Ken Boyer, 55.9 oWAR, 8272 PA, 287/349/462
Vada Pinson, 55 oWAR, 10403 PA, 286/327/442
Bobby Bonds, 51.9 oWAR, 8090 PA, 268/353/471
Rusty Staub, 50.8 oWAR, 11229 PA, 279/362/431
Orlando Cepeda, 50.4 oWAR, 8698 PA, 297/350/499

So once defensive stats suggest Dick Allen was giving back value with his glove he can certainly morph from "most overlooked hitter by the BBWAA since Mize" to "a reasonable Hall of Fame choice". If you dug around long enough on the internet or in your own physical library of early 90s baseball writing you will quite possibly even find Staub listed as Hall of Fame worthy, at least 36 voters considered him worthy, once defensive stats come along which for some just confirm defensive reputation it likely removes Staub from the few lists he appears on.

Other than maybe some reliever based stat there probably hasn't been a sabr reversal on par with the BBWAA considering Harvey Kuenn or Steve Garvey a viable candidate. If there is a stats based reliever HoF list it would look really terrible by (almost) all statistically inclined people today.
   176. Rally Posted: November 30, 2018 at 04:05 PM (#5792627)
Some of the guys the stat community supported who got in by the vets:

Ron Santo
Joe Gordon
George Davis - Bill James is responsible for this one IMO. I don't think I knew who Davis was, let alone how good he was, until I read about him in one of Bill's books.

All look pretty solid.

Looking over other VC player selections, I can't see anyone who got in, last 30 years or so, who was both a stathead favorite at any point and later viewed as a mistake.

Part of it is there are is a decent supply of guys out there who should be in, and a freaking ton of guys who you can say "if Rice, Morris, Sutter, etc., then why not ?". So if the statheads concentrate on the tops of this list, whether Raines, Edgar, Grich, Trammell, Whitaker, then if/when they get in, no matter what statistical advances are made, they'll still look at least solid. Even if unearthed videotape from 30 years ago is analyzed by statcast standards and we find we were off by 100 runs on someone's defensive worth, those guys are above the line of reasonable doubt.

I can make the case that Brian Downing is more HOF worthy than Jim Rice. He was better, he was my favorite, and I named my cat after him. Yeah, I'm biased, but the stats back me up here. Maybe the stats are wrong though, maybe the voters were right and Rice truly is more deserving. Doesn't matter, because Downing at ~50 WAR has no stathead support for the HOF. The consensus is too busy advocating for people who were a lot better than Brian was.
   177. DanG Posted: November 30, 2018 at 04:08 PM (#5792630)
You could equally argue that the point of a baseball team is to get fans in the seats and make money, and that a player who is good at that is more valuable/famous/important than a player who hits a bit better but that nobody likes. So I don't think the 'bubblegum test' is necessarily irrelevant.

I would use a combination of both as my criteria, rather than just one or the other.
Can you offer a few examples of players whose hall of fame case turned on their ability to get fans in the seats? Then can you offer some data showing their impact in that area?
   178. Random Transaction Generator Posted: November 30, 2018 at 04:44 PM (#5792645)
My ballot, if I had one:

Bonds, Clemens, Martinez, Halladay, Rivera, Schilling, Mussina, Ramirez, Walker, Rolen
   179. The Duke Posted: November 30, 2018 at 05:13 PM (#5792651)
Fangraphs is running a real crowd-sourced poll - everyone should go vote there
P
   180. Sweatpants Posted: November 30, 2018 at 05:21 PM (#5792652)
Jim Bunning I think is one whom statheads advocated for the Hall who now doesn't look like an obvious HOFer. He wasn't a bad selection, but he wasn't someone who needed to be in, either.
   181. gabrielthursday Posted: November 30, 2018 at 06:45 PM (#5792666)
I think the odds for Mussina are pretty good this year - electing four guys last year means that there is (comparatively) plenty of room on ballots this year, and Moose gained 11.7% last year, on a tougher ballot. He just needs to do the same this year, and I think that's pretty likely.
   182. Srul Itza Posted: November 30, 2018 at 07:15 PM (#5792671)
You could equally argue that the point of a baseball team is to get fans in the seats and make money


Just for grins: What's the first line on the plaque of the man most often rated the greatest player in the history of the game?

Answer: "Greatest Drawing Card In History of Baseball"

Obviously not why he is in the Hall. But the fact that it is the very first line in the plaque of the greatest of the First Five, does say something.
   183. Sunday silence Posted: November 30, 2018 at 07:17 PM (#5792672)
Defensive information was slower to develop so taking a look at 1991 HoF Ballot, oWar is a stand in for Win Shares or VORP or whatever:


bbmc: Im going to assume you are following up on your previous post where you were comparing Rose other contemporaries who broke in in the 60s in order to judge his HoF worthiness. Is that right? Cause half the sentences you write, are fairly incomprehensible to me so I am having to parse through this stuff very carefully.

Anyhow, I dont think anyone would really base Rose's case on being the greatest player of the day at his position. His career hits record is probably the one thing that makes his case stand or fall. And it seems like a pretty worthy record, although maybe we are all biased to look at career hits as a benchmark because Cobb held it for the longest time and we all pretty much agree he's inner circle HoF.

right? so do you consider his career hits mark to be enuf to get Rose into the HOF?
   184. Srul Itza Posted: November 30, 2018 at 07:18 PM (#5792673)
half the sentences you write, are fairly incomprehensible to me


Only half? You're ahead of the game.
   185. TJ Posted: November 30, 2018 at 08:47 PM (#5792701)
Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer just tweeted that he was never voting again on the HOF in part due to internet second guessers who think they stand between Cooperstown and "the Mendoza Lube Guy". (I'm guessing he mistyped Mendoza Line Guy and got auto-corrected). Two years ago he sent in a blank ballot, and last year voted only for Thome and Vizquel. I think he would have voted for the Mendoza Lube Guy if he had played for the Indians in the 90"s.
   186. gabrielthursday Posted: November 30, 2018 at 09:00 PM (#5792704)
Bill Livingston not voting is the equivalent, for Mussina and Martinez, of gaining about three ballots. That's pretty useful, especially for Mussina.
   187. BillWallace Posted: November 30, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5792707)
Great! Don't let the door hit you on the way out sir.
   188. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: November 30, 2018 at 09:17 PM (#5792709)
Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer just tweeted that he was never voting again on the HOF in part due to internet second guessers who think they stand between Cooperstown and "the Mendoza Lube Guy".

Well, the internet second guessers are responsible for a lot more friction than the Mendoza Lube Guy.
   189. The Yankee Clapper Posted: November 30, 2018 at 09:29 PM (#5792713)
Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer just tweeted that he was never voting again on the HOF in part due to internet second guessers who think they stand between Cooperstown and "the Mendoza Lube Guy". (I'm guessing he mistyped Mendoza Line Guy and got auto-corrected). Two years ago he sent in a blank ballot, and last year voted only for Thome and Vizquel.

Even this clown draws the line at voting just for Vizquel, eh? Livingston seems awfully thin-skinned, and I wouldn't be surprised, given his history, if he considers "not voting" = blank ballot, which would be unfortunate.
   190. darkvoid116 Posted: November 30, 2018 at 09:56 PM (#5792719)
I don’t think Livingston would vote against Vizquel like that.
   191. bbmck Posted: November 30, 2018 at 10:08 PM (#5792725)
This summer Bill wrote "Anyone who got to cover Dr. J and LeBron James for 16 combined years has had a great run. But mine is ending. This is my last regular column." so it's unclear how many more ballots will even be mailed to him.
   192. Walt Davis Posted: November 30, 2018 at 11:57 PM (#5792735)
#172 -- good question. I can't think of any but there are some current/recent candidates we might have supported more/less if they had arrived in different years.

As bbmck notes, there's a bit of a before/after defenseive evaluation was available. About 15 (? 20?) years ago, the general "pop" saber stance was that defense couldn't possiibly matter very much. An earlier poster noted Allen, to that we could add current candidates Sheff and Manny. If they'd been on the 2003 ballot, wWe'd have been ridiculing their ballot results (even in the universe where they have no PEDs taint).

Then "we" decided maybe defense mattered more than we thought. I'm not sure this really pushed anybody over the line for us but if, say, Andruw had arrived on the 2003 ballot, we would have ignored him. Now we at least pay attention to him. It's an interesting debate what we would have thought of Rolen -- he was always recognized as one of the best fielding 3B but would we have thought that mattered enough to make up for the solid but unspectacular offense and the limited PT? And lord knows, we would have been about as annoyed about Lofton as Brett Butler (i.e. not very).

Now the pendulum seems to be swinging back a bit -- at least there are many who are discounting big Rfield numbers (in either direction) to something they consider more sensible. This is not helping Andruw but I don't think the stat "community" ever considered him over the line. It doesn't seem to be hurting Rolen but we tend not to discount Rfield when we don't want to. :-) I think the biggest disagreement is probably over Walker. By WAR (either version) he's clearly more than qualified yet he doesn't enjoy super-strong saber support -- he should be the new Grich, is (by WAR) more deserving than Raines or Edgar whom statheads complained about all the time. Still, if only statheads voted, Walker would probably have gotten in quite easily (he did in the HoM) so that disagreement is about very thin differences, not majorly different evaluations.
   193. Sunday silence Posted: December 01, 2018 at 05:47 AM (#5792746)
I wanted to add something to the "narrative" aspect of all this.

Its been pointed out that Ortiz only had like 2 or 3 outstanding playoff series. Also that even Reggie had mediocre stats in playoff total.

BUt is that really what we are looking for when we talk about narrative?

Isnt it enough if he was a key member of a pennant winning team? I think Bill James phrased it like that or something very similar. Right so if Ortiz was a key member of 3 pennant winners, it doesnt really matter if he didnt have an outstanding series; at least it was his bat keeping them in the hunt every day of the season. Isnt that enuf?
   194. Sunday silence Posted: December 01, 2018 at 05:57 AM (#5792747)
In response to 172: How about Duke Snider, he seems clearly a large liability in CF although we probably dont have the ability to go back to the 50s and quantify precisely how much he is giving up in the field there. Just based on range numbers it seems pretty significant.
   195. bachslunch Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5792797)
Through 12 ballots, only Edgar and Mo are on every ballot. Otherwise:

10: Halladay
9: Clemens, Moose
8: Bonds, Schilling
7: Vizquel
5: Walker
4: Manny
3: Helton, Pettitte, Sosa
2: McGriff, Rolen
1: Andruw
0: Bergman, Kent, Oswalt, Sheffield, Wagner
   196. Baldrick Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:16 PM (#5792799)
Bill Madden hung up a pretty nice piñata this morning.
If nothing else, consider it a vote for defense, for Polanco is the only player in history to hold the lifetime fielding percentage records at two different positions – second base (.993) and third base (.983). He also holds the lifetime records for most consecutive error-less games at second (186) and most consecutive chances (911) without an error. In addition, Poloanco is one of only two players in history to win Gold Glove awards at multiple positions and the only one to have won them both in the infield.

Staying on the subject of defense, I am a staunch supporter of Omar Vizquel, of whom I DID say ‘I’m looking at a Hall-of-Famer’ every time I saw him play. He was the greatest defensive shortstop I ever saw, better than Ozzie Smith, better than Luis Aparicio.
   197. Jose is Absurdly Unemployed Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:25 PM (#5792801)
Dammit Baldrick why'd you link? I clicked on it and now we've given Madden the clicks he and his bosses want. I don't think Madden even remotely believes Polanco is a Hall of Famer but he's hoping for a bunch of outraged responses that allow him to write a follow up column as well as a big increase in page views.
   198. bbmck Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5792807)
In addition, Poloanco is one of only two players in history to win Gold Glove awards at multiple positions and the only one to have won them both in the infield.

Darin Erstad got one vote and it wasn't from Bill Madden, both infield is an important criteria to Bill.
   199. bachslunch Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5792811)
To be fair, Placido Polanco was a little better player than I remember. But he’s definitely no HoFer. BBRef WAR has him as a 2nd baseman at 41.5 (OPS+ of 95), which adjusted for PAs is about the level of guys like Chuck Knoblauch, Davey Lopes, and Jim Gilliam.

More clown college voting from Madden, it seems.
   200. John DiFool2 Posted: December 01, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5792812)
I think the biggest disagreement is probably over Walker. By WAR (either version) he's clearly more than qualified yet he doesn't enjoy super-strong saber support -- he should be the new Grich.


My main quibble with Walker is his injury record. Yeah when healthy was pretty otherworldly, but shouldn't having to trot out lesser players to RF when he is on the DL not be factored into the calculus somehow?
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